Golden Bomber: Isshou Baka at Budoukan
On January 14 at the 14,000 plus capacity Budokan, Golden Bomber met the audience of the sold-out show with a large hand-made sign indicating the show’s title: “Golden Bomber: Isshou Baka (stupid my whole life),” written in black electrical tape.
A few orgasmic sighs, a reading of the rules, and an order to pledge love to Kyan (delivered by Kyan), and a video began. Vocalist Kiryuin stood on the edge of a building wearing a suit, intending to jump. “I’m done with my life!” he declared, and a flashback montage revealed that he was a man whose horse-loving dad and deer-loving mom had named “Baka” by combining the two Chinese characters. With a name that means “idiot,” he was bullied throughout school, and despite studying hard to go to a top-ranked university, he couldn’t get a job because the interviewers thought he was calling them morons just by introducing himself. Even things with his girlfriend (Kyan Yutaka) went sour when he took his frustrations out on her.
“I’m not needed by anyone,” he said and jumped–a body hitting the stage for real. The band appeared, Kiryuin dressed in a suit and smeared with fake blood, Jun equally bloody from trying to catch him. The opening number, “Oneman Fuan (nervous about the oneman)” proved to be a misnomer as the band showed confidence and energy from the start.
“I can’t believe there’s an air band at Budokan,” Kiryuin began. “Everyone is so much farther away than usual!”
Kyan was excited for the show “…even if we don’t have any cardboard boxes.”
“Vivid was here, then Kuro Yume, we’re in that league of artists!” Jun gushed. “But we’re doing Budokan in January. Our year has already peaked, so where can we go this year?” “No one is here by mistake?” Kenji asked, looking around the audience. “My parents came all the way from Fukuoka today!” He then showed that he wasn’t going to tone himself down just because his mother was watching, miming a penis with his Styrofoam drum sticks.
They struck up the next number, “Kirei ni Naritakute,” with everyone spinning and moving- “Move, move!” Kiryuin encouraged as everyone jumped. Kenji’s drums rolled back and forth across the upper platform before he jumped away as they rolled too far and crashed off the stage. “Too much moving!” Kiryuin yelled, feigning shock. A second drum set appeared for Kenji, and Kyan surprised everyone by welding a robot. For those who may have been worried about the guitarist playing with a blowtorch on stage, a picture of his welder’s license appeared on the screen, assuring that he was qualified to operate the equipment.
Jun was less reassuring during the next number, the heavy, death-voice filled “Motto Kare Korosu.” He plunged through a trap door in the stage then stumbled out coughing and covered in plaster. The makeup artist appeared to clean the plaster off his face and he seemed none the worse for wear, despite having to dump plaster out of his shoes.
“Did you notice the new clothes?” Kyan said, posing. “I’ve been wearing the same clothes for two years!” Kenji protested, and Kyan shook his head. “Well, that’s because you’re poor,” he retorted. “I feel confident and visual! Please look at me! No matter where you look, I look cool!”
Next was Golden Bomber’s latest single “Yowasete Mojito” which set the audience banging their wrists together and Jun leading them in making hearts. Kyan went for a “solo,” only to have the camera whip around and reveal a bald spot on the back of his head, belying his declaration that he looked totally cool from any angle and prompting laughter from the audience.
“Hotel Love” had a piping, cheerful melody that set Kyan and Jun flailing around the stage. Kiryuin used his upper range as the rest of the band threw themselves around dizzily. The energy held for the nonsensical member call song, “Masashi.” The band performed like a hard core visual kei act, growling and spitting water at the audience as the fans called for the mysterious “Masashi.”
“Thanks. See you next year!” Kiryuin called, prompting a squeal of protest from the fans. The screen then showed Kyan’s welding license again, then pictures of the guitarist at a construction site. Subtitles explained that Kyan really had gone to get his welding license and spent the week of Christmas training on-site. He had to take exams, sleeping in the classroom when it got too much. His Christmas dinner was soba, and the closest he got to getting laid on Christmas (the biggest date night of the Japanese year) was talking to an old man next to him at the toilet. All the sacrifice was not in vain, though. He got his license and Kenji even came along to support him and get licensed, too!
“And now we’re going to do something completely unrelated to the live!” Kiryuin announced, as if the previous video montage had been related in any way. Thus began the epic story of the “Ossen Rangers,” a color-coded fighting force to defend the world from energy-sucking evil.
“I’m Sho. I stay with Jun,” Kiryuin’s voice over announced, the band badly lip-syncing the pre-recorded dialogue. He explained that one of their members had recently departed, and he wasn’t sure about the new recruit. Jun was more positive. “I know he doesn’t look strong, but he wants to work!”
Kyan then entered wearing thick-rimmed glasses and shuffling like a dork. “You can’t wear that if you want to become a ranger!” Sho scolded, pulling at his unfashionable clothes.
A video credit montage parodying the fighting hero genre then showed the group training to fight their energy-sucking arch-enemy, Warvish (Kenji in a massive dreadlocked wig).
“We’re having a New Year’s party!” they announced by way of exposition. “Let’s work together to defeat the boss!” An apparently drunk Kiryuin then molested Kyan before stumbling to the toilet. Jun began to scold the new recruit. “You have to try harder! He is really nice to you, but you suck! You ugly guy with your stupid thick glasses…” As he yanked them off, Kiryuin returned, and seeing the blue fighter without his spectacles, he reached an epiphany–“Aishiteiru to Ienakute.”
“Don’t fight!” Kiryuin forced the pair to apologize, and as they began to apologize and argue about who should take the blame, a voice came from above. “Warvish has appeared! You must transform!” The three went through Sailor Moon-inspired transformation sequences and ran out to save the blow up doll victim. As Warvish destroyed the sex toy, the rangers knew just what they needed to defeat him: a crotch-beam of ultimate power. Kyan, however, was injured in the fierce battle, and appeared strapped to a hospital table. “I was so mean to you!” Jun lamented. Kiryuin bent close to the unconscious Kyan. “I will be your prince!” he declared, kissing his injured comrade awake.
They began the slower “Otokokoroko to Aki no Sora” and the fans clapped along, the atmosphere subdued with only two members able to move onstage. Kyan suddenly pulled out a guitar from under his hospital bed and began to genuinely play, the audience applauding as he showed his skill under the spotlight.
Kiryuin and Jun transformed to their alter-egos and ran to fight their enemy. “I’ll suck out your energy like I did the blue one!” Warvish cackled, but suddenly Kyan appeared, fully revived courtesy of Kiryuin’s magical kiss.
“We’ll show you our special skill: Threesome Attack!” they yelled, and Warvish’s evil was destroyed and he was forced to revert to his human form in a flurry of lasers. In his place, the audience got something even more unexpected than the rest of the live combined: Darvish Kenji without make-up. The screams from the fans were deafening as the swingy and cheerful “Shiawase no Uta” began. Kenji tried to wave the cameras away from projecting close-ups of him on the video screen, suddenly blushing, shy, and the exact opposite of his usual, outlandish persona. Jun and Kyan directed the groovy music with their power wands as they finished the musical on a happy note.
“This is so embarrassing!” Kenji said from where he still sat, sans make-up, behind the drum kit. “Without make-up I’m just a regular old guy!” he complained and immediately began slathering himself with white face paint.
The farce over, Golden Bomber decided to show the audience a bit of culture with Japanese calligraphy. A wigged Kyan became the paintbrush, Kenji holding him upside-down by the knees and dragging his head through ink then on the paper as Kiryuin ran around manically singing “Mata Kimi ni Bango wo Kikenakatta.” The gag didn’t go quite smoothly, with the wig half falling off and Jun having to run over to help hold up the rapidly ink-soaked and slippery Kyan, who couldn’t stop laughing and made it difficult for the pair to keep a grip on him. Still, they managed to smear out a character and raised it high, the giant scroll almost hitting the top of the stage.
“I feel my Japanese spirit!” Kiryuin exclaimed, looking up at the scroll. For those who couldn’t interpret the illegible runny character, he announced it for the crowd. “Hage–bald. That’s a pretty difficult kanji!” Kyan, with his eyes full of ink, was having trouble seeing anything. “My eyes really hurt,” he complained as he put his shoes back on.
“You know you have to make your outfit pure white again before tomorrow,” Kiruin teased before they started a song as dark as Kyan’s ink stains, “Death Metal.” The faux-operatic intro lead into powerful music that hit all the notes of the death metal genre, Kenji using the time to put the finishing touches on his make-up as the other members rocked out. Kyan jumped up on the platform to soak up the audience’s adoration, then refused to leave even as Jun tried to pull him off, throwing his head back and posing intensely like a rock god. The audience workout continued with “Dokugumo Onna,” and its lightning-fast choreography.
“The V kei poi Kyoku” rounded off the set, highlighting every cliché of the musical genre with barking, growling, headbanging, and over-the-top operatic tones. The band then left the stage and fans began to call for an encore.
The band–sans Kiryuin–returned, Kyan still covered in ink. They began to introduce the merch when Kiryuin appeared behind them, dressed in shiny lycra with a flowing cape that would put Liberace to shame.
“Why am I wearing this, you may ask? Well, I made it for Kohaku, but we weren’t invited!” he said, expressing his shock that Golden Bomber had somehow been passed over for the big New Years televised musical extravaganza. “I want today to be like Golden Bomber’s Kohaku!”
They began the slow “Sayonara Fuyumi,” and Kiryuin was raised into the air, with laser lights hitting him and making him sparkle. As he rose higher and higher, the cape stretched out farther and farther, finally forming a tent below him. As he continued to ascend, however, the costume ripped away, leaving him in nothing but his underwear. Of course, his bandmates immediately began to comment on his harness-emphasized crotch: “Wow, it’s so big!” “I’m jealous!” “His balls are the size of a baseball!” as Kiryuin tried to cover himself though he continued to sing. “I even invited my mom today!” he cried when the song was over. “Well, she should be proud you’re so big!” Kyan tried to comfort him.
It wouldn’t be a Golden Bomber live without “Memeshitkute,” and the band somehow found new reserves of energy for the high-impact number. They ran across the stage, encouraging the fans to jump, Kyan even throwing in kung-fu moves. With the last chorus, a shower of streamers burst out over the audience and the band took their final bows and exited.
The video screen cut to “live footage” of the members going downstairs, getting in a car, then driving away, and, in a dark gag, having them almost hit “Baka”‘s dying body on their way out. The shot lingered on Kiryuin’s alter-ego. “I hope I’m happier in my next life.” Cut to a nursery. Baka had been reborn, this time to an English-speaking Jun and Kenji. “I wonder where I am? What country is this? I have such a nice mom and dad!” His pleasure changed to horror as his new mom continued to speak. “I love you, my dear… Baka.” The video then changed to colorful credits of the four dancing, parodying a children’s show that ended with a graphic of a miniature naked Kenji jumping out of a watermelon.
While most bands would be content to leave it at that, Golden Bomber had one more number left in them. “Thank you, Budokan!” Kiryuin yelled, taking out his earpiece to hear the fans’ voices. “We’re going to do one more song, a tiring song! “Kakkoitte Eigo!’” The fans raised their arms and yelled with the song, and Kiryuin handled the fast, nonsensical English lyrics with accidental skill. Jun attacked Kyan with kisses as the guitarist tried to solo, and the remaining two lead the audience in hard-core headbanging that took the last of their energy.
“Thank you!” they yelled again. Long after they left, the audience lingered to see if more was in store. After all, with Golden Bomber you never can tell when, or where, the next gag will come.
- Oneman Fuan
- Kirei ni Naritakute
- Dakishimete Schwartz
- Motokare Korosu
- Yowasete Mojito
- Hotel Love
- Konichiwa Kodoku
- Aishiteiru Ienakute
- Otoko no Kokoro to Aki no Sora
- Shiawase no Uta
- Mata Kimi ni Bango wo Kikenakatta
- Death Metal
- Boku Quest
- Dokugomo Onna (Moe Moe Hen)
- The V-keippoi Kyoku
- Sayonara Fuyumi
- Ai Nante Iranai Yo
- Kakkoite Eigo